Rob Kleiner and Kevin Gibson discuss Tub Ring’s Kickstarter and upcoming EP

Since the early 90’s, Tub Ring has been a true passion project. It’s survived multiple incantations, a revolving door of band members, and different record labels. Despite their longevity, they stayed under the radar as they toured constantly across the country year in and year out. With each music release, tour, and band member, the band found a way to create something new and spin their own unique take on their favorite genre. After going on hiatus for half a decade, the two long lasting members, Rob Kleiner and Kevin Gibson, have come back with a kickstarter for fans who’ve stuck around since the band’s early high school days and those who discovered them along the way as they toured the country with the likes of Foxy Shazam, The Birthday Massacre, Dog Fashion Disco, Mindless Self Indulgence, and others. Media Mikes got a chance to talk with them as they get ready to head back into the studio.

Jeremy Werner: After Tub Ring’s 2010 release, “Secret Handshake,” everything seemed to go silent and the touring stopped. A lot of fans seemed kind of in the dark for years, kind of just assuming that the band had called it quits. But here you are with a Kickstarter, a successful one at that, and some are wondering what’s happened over the past six years?

Rob Kleiner: After non-stop touring and making albums for a solid 10 years we were due for a break. Kevin and I had been the two constant members during that period of time. All the upkeep, finances, songwriting, planning, etc., fell on us and us alone. We were a bit tired and also broke. On top of all this I had started finding the biggest success I’d ever had in my music career writing and producing for bigger artists, which led me to move to Los Angeles to focus on that. Since arriving in LA all my creative attention has been aimed that direction.

Kevin Gibson: I got married, and enjoyed living a nice normal life. My love of music remained, but I became more of a music fan than a music creator. My wife and I follow Skrillex all over the country cause we’re nerdy superfans like that.

JW: What was it that got the ball rolling in terms of deciding to come back together, make a best of LP, make some new music, and start a crowdfunding page?

KG: Nothing in particular. I think we both had a little necessary time off, but then started seeing each other more often. Kinda seemed like the right time to do it. It was pretty organic. We had always said Tub Ring wasn’t dead, just on hiatus, so we wouldn’t want to be dirty liars now, would we?

RK: Our guitarist Patrick put the idea out there for making a best of vinyl. Kevin and I liked the idea, and decided it’d be fun to make a few new songs to accompany that.

JW: You reached your Kickstarter goal literally days after launching. What is it like seeing yourselves reach that goal so quickly?

RK: It’s beautiful. I remember a long time ago someone asking me, “What would make you happy in life?” My answer was, “to create someone’s ‘favorite’ music.” Maybe I achieved that. Maybe not. But it sure seems like this is a good indicator that I’ve made music that’s meant something to some people.

KG: It was pretty wonderful, actually. Tub Ring was always a labor of love for us, but I wondered if anyone would still care. Seems like they do, so I’m gonna try to live up to the love.

JW: The stretch goal is $30,000 to do a live show in Chicago. If you reach that…what would a possible second stretch goal be?

KG: Shit, I don’t know. Working on new stuff has been immediately enjoyable. To be honest, we’re playing it by ear. I suppose if not just the kickstarter, but everything else worked out we could always keep recording more music.

RK: We’ve definitely discussed that possibility. If there’s demand then yes. Perhaps we spin the new EP into a new album, or we do a small tour. We’ll have to cross that bridge when we come to it. Whatever people want could become possible.

JW: Because it’s been so long in between new releases of music, is there anything that’s been released by artists you like or any new music over the past six years that you’ve gravitated towards and look to incorporate in your new music?

RK: Absolutely. I write directly from my inspirations. My songs always end up sounding like what I’m listening to. My taste is always evolving. Hopefully my newer influences will work with the new TR material.

KG: Well, I love music and my music preferences are constantly changing. It’s pretty much the same as when Tub Ring was heavily active. Obviously I’m influenced by different music at different times, and it’s fun to incorporate new sounds and styles, but I don’t think we ever sit down and say, “I want this album to sound like this.” We just kinda write what we write and what comes out is Tub Ring.

JW: Is the Kickstarter for the fans or are you looking at trying to make some splashes with the new music?

RK: For the fans and for ourselves. If it brings in any new interest that’s great, but that’s certainly not the goal here.

KG: This Kickstarter is definitely for the fans, as well as us. I sure have fun making music. That being said, it’s not like I’d be upset if we made some more fans.

JW: With both of you on different ends of the country almost, what kind of strain does that put on the music making process?

KG: I don’t think it’s going to any strain at all really. We can bounce stuff back and forth immediately through the wonder of technology. I remember when Tub Ring started out I would write lyrics using a terrible room recording made from a boombox and a cassette. Basically it’s just adapting to the current situation.

RK: It does makes getting together a bit more expensive. That’s what the kickstarter is for to help with. Altogether though, it’s really not too bad of a strain.

JW: I’m sure that you have fans that you talk to all the time about your music, but is there anything you’ve worked on in the past or anything you’re working on now that you’re really proud of and you want people to go check out now?

KG: My Apartment looks nice.

RK: I can’t pimp out one of my artists without pimping out all of them – so instead of writing a novel, fans should just go to my website.

You can check out Tub Ring’s Kickstarter here.
You can get up to date information from Tub Ring on their Facebook.

Become a Backer of Stevan Mena's "Malevolence 3" on Indiegogo!

In 2005, Stevan Mena’s debut feature film Malevolence was a surprise hit when it was released theatrically and on DVD. Written, co-produced and directed by Stevan, Malevolence told the shocking but enthralling story of masked serial killer Martin Bristol, whose story hit a nerve with horror fans and mainstream audiences all over the world. Intended as the second act of a sprawling trilogy, fans were rewarded in 2011 when Stevan explored the origins of Martin’s tragic creation with Bereavement starring Michael Biehn and Alexandra Daddario. Now, the final suspenseful chapter is about to be told with Malevolence 3…but we need your help.

Mena Films announces their campaign to start production of Malevolence 3. Once again, Stevan Mena is writing, directing and producing, along with longtime co-producer Tim Bristol and producer/actor Brian O’Halloran (Clerks). Fans can contribute funds towards commencing principal photography – even pre-ordering the Blu-ray™/DVD! In addition, fans who commit targeted minimum pledge amounts will be eligible for exclusive incentives including signed scripts, tickets to the premiere party, a Skype session with the cast and filmmakers – and a chance to appear in the film! To contribute, go to http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/malevolence -3/x/2886817.

In Malevolence 3, Martin Bristol returns to where it all began: the home where he was kidnapped from. But he is not the boy who disappeared over 10 years ago. Tortured and abused at the hands of his psychotic captor, Graham Sutter, Martin is damaged beyond repair. Lurking in the shadows of suburbia, he stalks and kills without remorse, picking his victims at random – or are they? Special Agent William Perkins follows Martin’s trail of terror, desperate to capture him before he kills again. Martin’s family, mourning his disappearance for over 10 years, is informed not only that he is alive, but that he is responsible for the wave of murder sweeping through their town. Will they be able to reunite with their long lost son before it’s too late, or will Perkins have to use excessive force to bring him down?

For more information about Malevolence 3, check out www.malevolence3.com

Ralph Bakshi talks about his Kickstarter campaign for "Last Days of Coney Island"

Ralph Bakshi is one of the last great animators in the business and also a good friend of mine.  He has created some really classics films like “Fritz the Cat”, “Wizards”, “The Lord of the Rings”, “American Pop” and many many more.  Ralph is trying to get his last his latest film, “Last Days of Coney Island”, started with the help of Kickstarter and his fans support. The film is planned to be “an animated cop, mafia, horror movie set in the 1960s in Coney Island, with political overtones both realistic and outrageous”. Sounds awesome right?

This is Ralph’s first and hopefully not last attempt at cr0wd-funding.  At the time of posting, there has been over 900 backers since it was launched and about $140,000 dollars pledged of the $165,000 dollars goal.  We are almost there but we need your help. Be sure to rush over to Kickstarter and help Ralph on this project and be sure to mention Media Mikes sent ya!. He is a man who fights for hand-drawn animation in an industry that is fighting against him. Click here to join the fight and see “Last Days of Coney Island” get made. The campaign ends on Sunday March 3rd around 12pm EST, so don’t miss out! Spread the word!

Check out our interview with Matthew Modine who recently joined on the film, click here.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about you decision to use Kickstarter for “Last Days of Coney Island”?
Ralph Bakshi: I am 74 years old and I didn’t want any trouble. I figured I would try and raise the money if I could and that way I would be able to do what I wanted. I am not looking for anything major. If it turns into something more like five shorts then I would be more than happy. But I have my freedom, as you can see and I am not bothering with anyone. I do not have to show around storyboards and scripts. It is really a great sense of freedom. We got a lot of push from fans, which is great. We even got a new large donation from a Formula One racer, since he said he grew up with my movies. I am amazed by that. I am really looking to the internet here. I would like to spark an audience reaction to find out what they think. I am not going to get big money online but I will still get to make the film I want.

MG: On the Kickstarter page, it lists the film as “Part One”. You mentioned there will be more?
RB: That is right. I will just keep going with the shorts. Also remember they are also pilots. If I get part one done, Hollywood will realize that this guy has a nice following and he is not dead, that is number one. Number two is that if I do something really cool, I can show it to somebody and have them finish it for me, like a promo real. That could always happen.

MG: Tell us about the involvement of Matthew Modine and how that came about?
RB: I just got this email from Matthew Modine. He loves animations and grew up with my films. He said he wants to come help me and came on as a producer. He will also be voicing a character called Shorty, who is very fun. Modine is great though and he has helped me out a lot. We got hundreds of news stories when Matthew Modine came on board. It has just been amazing. Kickstarter made people realize that I am not dead and it has helped quite a bit since we all know that Hollywood is all about hype.

MG: How do you feel your style of animation stands up in today’s times?
RB: My animation isn’t perfect and that is what companies like Disney they strive for…that perfection. I would love to do perfect animation but what that takes is money. So the perception in the industry is that my stuff isn’t good enough. Animation isn’t about perfect. Art isn’t about perfect. They take it too seriously. I am not perfect and they hold it against me. Uncle Walt wants perfect. I can’t. You can’t be perfect with $1 million dollars.

MG: What has been your biggest challenge that you faced with trying to get the word out?
RB: There has been a lot of support from fans, yes. But you look at the animation blogs, they are all taking to each other and no one has Bakshi on there. Let’s talk about Cartoon Brew, they have not mentioned a word about the Kickstarter for “Last Days of Coney Island”. They also never put up my last cartoon “Trickle Dickle Down” either. Now, I am a 74 year old animator who has been around for a while and has fought for animation over the years. Look, we are trying to do a lousy five minute cartoon. Yet they will not assist with us on this project. I am more shocked and upset out of amazement on this, but I am not bitter. If I succeed in “Last Days of Coney Island” doing hand-drawn R-rated film, which is possible not probably…but possible. If I get to make this into a feature and its makes big money like “Fritz the Cat”. All of Hollywood is going to say “Oh my God, hand-drawn and R-rated?” and everyone would be put back to work. So we may make it…we may not. It is very close.

MG: I have to ask what are your plans if funding does not meet your goal?
RB: I don’t have a backup plan. If I don’t reach the limit, then I don’t reach the limit. I would have had a good time. I am trying hard. But I am not going to go crazy. If the guys don’t support me then I won’t do it. If places like Cartoon Brew don’t want to mention that I am out here fighting for animation, especially since they are all for animation. Remember they get their ads from Pixar, Disney and Dreamworks and they realize that I am at it again doing stuff that those guys can’t do because of their family audience. So they don’t mention me. I just won’t do it then. I don’t want anyone to think I am angry. I am very proud. We raised a ton of money.

MG: Tell us about your team you’ve you have working with you right now?
RB: I have hired some great young animators. I got this Japanese guy from Brooklyn. He sent me his reel and they are very crude and very honest. I emailed him and gave him some work to do. I later found out that he was living on the streets in Brooklyn. He has all his drawing up on my Kickstarter page. His name is Tsukasa Kanayama. He is such an amazing guy. I also got this woman, Colleen Cox, who taught herself how to animate. What I am saying is that I love working with these young animators. I see the passion through their eyes and its reminds me about my own passion and what it is like to be young and have that drive. One of my animators JoJo Baptista is using Toon Boom Studio to work on the animation, which is 100% 2D. With this program, you can draw on paper and scan into the software. Toon Boom colors and does the in between. It works great. As the director, I want it to look like hand-drawn animation and they are and using this software to fill in the necessary in-betweens. Also My son Eddie Bakshi is producing and breaking his ass. He is taking on a lot of hard work and the Facebook stuff, which is beyond me. So we have a wonderful team and we are just waiting to see if this will work out.

Help support A Sound of Thunder’s new album “Time’s Arrow” on Kickstarter

Join the Legion of Thunder and help “A Sound of Thunder” complete our next epic full-length album TIME’S ARROW…11 new tracks of classic metal! Click here to see how you can help them out on Kickstarter!

The title of our new album is TIME’S ARROW.  We’ve already begun recording with the same band lineup, studio and producer as OUT OF THE DARKNESS, and a new batch of 11 songs that will blow you away! The centerpiece of the album is the epic 9-minute sci-fi/metal title track “Time’s Arrow”, based on a short-story by our drummer Chris Haren. The album as a whole touches on our roots in metal, prog, classic rock, and even classical, blues, and jazz, and takes us into new territory while maintaining the overall classic metal sound.

Drums, bass, and rhythm guitars for TIME’S ARROW have already been completely recorded.  With your help we will track lead vocals, lead guitars, and keyboards, then mix the final album all at Assembly Line Studios in Vienna, Virginia.  Studio time is already tentatively booked and with your support we’ll complete the album this fall!

You can order TIME’S ARROW in the following formats:

  • Digital Download
  • Autographed CD
  • Honored Heroes Pack (Your name in the album booklet)
  • Ultra-Limited Box Set (including TIME’S ARROW short story and much more…see rewards for details!)

(Larger rewards that include the Honored Heroes Pack can be upgraded to the Box Set…just add $30 to your pledge, or contact the band!)

In addition to the full-length album TIME’S ARROW, we are announcing another release, the QUEEN OF HELL EP, exclusively available to fans who help us fund TIME’S ARROW via Kickstarter!   That’s right, a unique release by the band ONLY AVAILABLE HERE! 

Click here to see how you can help them out on Kickstarter!

 

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